I think it’s time to call things as they really are, again.
Things have been going downhill lately for President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino’s term. His credibility both abroad and at home is virtually non-existent. Calls have been mounting for him either to be impeached or to resign. The popularity that is the primary foundation of his government’s legitimacy has been taking a nosedive. In fact, the drops in net satisfaction ratings have hit him so hard that he couldn’t help but blame them on former president Gloria Arroyo again.
BS Aquino’s critics must be having a field day.
Defenders of the Aquino administration would say that when he does nothing, his critics complain, and yet when he finally does something they still complain.
They catch on quick.
That’s EXACTLY what defines his presidency: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
What does this mean? Simply put, most of the time, whatever BS Aquino does eventually turns out detrimental not only to people’s perception of him, but to the people he presumes to govern as well.
Critics have every reason to do what they’re doing. Nobody’s expecting the president to be perfect, but it is reasonable to expect more than a half-assed reaction from him when the time calls for it. You can’t please everybody? The post of president, the highest government post in the land, is one where intense public scrutiny is not only experienced, it is expected. It has aged and sucked the life out of those who have held its position. If BS Aquino and his supporters do nothing but complain about critics complaining about BS Aquino’s less-than-stellar performance, then perhaps he shouldn’t have been put there in the first place.
BS Aquino and his supporters accuse critics of pulling down the president and not wanting him to succeed. They counter that instead everyone should support the president regardless of what he does. Those who do not are being unpatriotic.
Do you want to hear the other just as undesirable option? If no one criticizes him, no one will hold him accountable to make sure that he and his cronies do not get away with skirting, sidestepping, or willfully violating the law, and/or putting themselves above it. It is their duty to make sure that BS Aquino walks the REAL straight path, and not the product of that silly rhetoric “daang matuwid”.
Nonoy Aquino, will attract criticism whatever he says or does; that’s just the way it is by virtue of being in the highest government post. Because the fate of an entire “nation” is in his hands, every decision he makes, every sound bite he utters, all of these have to be scrutinized very intensely. That’s the nature of the job.
BS Aquino, his handlers, and his supporters had Filipinos believe that a vote for any of his opponents back then in 2010 was a vote for EVIL. The flipside, however, was that a vote for BS Aquino was in effect, a vote for stupid. And not just stupid; undiplomatic, brash, grossly incompetent, and as recently pointed out, an unflinching liar.
BS Aquino and his handlers also had them believe that intellect and skill would only be used to further corruption and to continue the culture of impunity that has happened here. In him we have a mediocre, emotionally stunted, president, one who happens to embody everything wrong with the Filipino himself. Are we faring any better?
Do some thinking here: we’ve had well-studied presidents, we’ve had (and are having) presidents who have no more than a well-known name going for them. Yet our society is pretty much the same. Is it really the quality and the character of the leaders that makes a big difference?
If BS Aquino gives up his pork barrel or discretionary funds, he would be exposed as a lame duck limp-d*cked president who wields very little influence without any dangling discretionary funds to back him up. On the other hand, if he keeps it, he has no choice but to live with being perceived as corrupt as almost every other politician in the Philippines. Ironic for someone who campaigned on the basis of “kung walang hirap, walang korap”, and on the basis of being someone who is supposedly incorruptible.
When it comes to his and his government’s response to calamity situations, BS Aquino has had a reputation for being slow. Don’t get me wrong; no one ever said that he absolutely must be there at every crisis site. No one ever said that he must micromanage the crisis response; he just has to make his presence felt at the right time, and he has to be absolutely reliable when it counts. Yet what does he do? He makes no public announcement as soon as possible after the event occurs. When he does visit the site, it’s several days after when the height of the calamity has passed. When he does visit the site, he makes a big fuss. As a result, he is perceived to show lack of empathy toward those affected.
Let’s also not forget that BS Aquino’s government is all too eager to prematurely congratulate itself for what they perceive as a successful early warning campaign, yet they shift all blame away from themselves and towards the people when the casualty list starts piling up. Just ask the victims of typhoon Bopha.
Speaking of natural calamities, let’s also remind everyone that he arbitrarily cancelled many flood control projects without having replacements immediately ready.
Last year, he brought out his senatorial candidates with him to the flooded areas and got perceived as epal and a premature campaigner, for it.
If the recent earthquake in Bohol and Cebu was any indication, BS Aquino doesn’t seem to have developed a learning curve. A picture of him by the church ruins and flashing his trademark ngiting-aso went around, which some people perceived as horribly insensitive to the plight of the earthquake victims. In addition, he visited the site, but left the Philippines for a trip to Korea, which some people noted as lack of empathy. According to them, the president of Korea would have well understood if he had to cancel a trip due to a natural calamity. Yet it seems no one could stop BS Aquino, allegedly because one of the highlights of that trip was for him to receive recognition on behalf of his father, Ninoy Aquino, who covered the Korean War in the 1950’s as a correspondent for the Manila Times. Finally, when he did come back from that foreign trip, he visited Bohol, distributed relief goods, and stayed in a tent. And an all too willing and very complicit media had helped him to be painted as “one who was one with understanding the plight of his people.” That’s PR stunt for those of you who don’t get it.
And recently, the unresolved issue of the Luneta hostage situation in 2010 came up again. Even if Manila Mayor Erap Estrada has already apologized, BS Aquino still refuses to. He still refuses to because he insists that it was the act of one man, even if the deterioration of the incident was ultimately his command responsibility. The failure of the PHILIPPINE National Police, the failure of PHILIPPINE media, and the cultural dysfunction of the PHILIPPINE people: it all falls on HIM.
What’s the backlash if he does apologize? Legal, according to him; he is concerned about those among the relatives who might sue. Well, if they do, does he intend to hide under somebody else’s skirt indefinitely? He should man up. Oops, sorry, I don’t think he knows the meaning of that.
Oh, and that whole impeachment thing with former Chief Justice Renato Corona? The impeachment court handed down a verdict on someone who was accused of being favorable to the EEEVVVIIILLL Gloria Arroyo, and of betraying public trust by allegedly not declaring his SALN truthfully? Well, we got a replacement a Chief Justice who has not earned the respect of her peers, and someone whose competence, mental stability, and decision-making ability have been put into question more than once. Kind of sounds like the one who appointed her, no?
Is it really that hopeless, one may be tempted to ask? Well, BS Aquino has three (3) years left to turn a losing situation into a winning one. Assuming of course, that he actually starts listening to people who don’t necessarily agree with him, and assuming that he can stop thinking about his clan’s interest first before the country’s.
Ultimately, whose responsibility is it that we have a lose-lose situation with our government?
The Filipino people’s.
As GRP webmaster benign0 said, “That’s what you all get for following a man that clearly cannot lead.”
If the Filipinos who thought very highly of BS Aquino STILL can’t see that after this time, then they can very well take comfort in the fact that losers love company.